Poetry is a funny thing. It’s kind of forced on us in school, and becomes something we love or hate, something that bores us to tears or moves us deeply. It’s also something that, well, a lot of modern hipsters like to think they’re poets, right? Poems are a lot like man-buns, lumberbeards, Mac laptops in Starbucks and toting copies of Nietzsche that you’ve never read.
But poetry can also be Wordsworth, Byron or Maya Angelou. Or Eminem for that matter.
Kristine Brown, to get to the subject at hand, sent me an email asking me to review her little chapbook of poems, Scraped Knees, published by Ugly Sapling. I got the good vibes from her, so I said yes, though I don’t normally deal with poetry in this blog. I do happen to quite like poetry.
The book itself you can see in the picture above, it’s a neat little tome, and feels nice to touch. The poems inside vary, and include short prose. The themes vary from observations to exploring themes of loss, violence, law, sadness, relationships. They feel quite raw and honest, personal. I actually really enjoyed them, and especially liked how they felt young, not in the sense of being inexperienced or lacking nuance or quality, but rather about modern, youthful feelings. They mention school, bicycles, coming of age, concerns of a mid-twenty year old. I like how well they captured those feelings, evoked them, encapsulated them. Poetry does not have to be dusty and dry. (Or be just for those who wear skinny jeans)
Kristine Brown has been published in quite a few literary journals, and she also has her own successful blog, Crumpled Paper Cranes which you can find HERE. I recommend taking a look on her blog, you’ll get a really strong sense of who she is, and it’s full of interesting things, poems, thoughts, short prose, and a great series called 500 Cats, with pictures of cats and inspired poems.